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Photo of Dr. Allen Myers

Allen C. Myers, PhD

Associate Professor
Associate Professor of Medicine
Male

Titles

  • Associate Professor
  • Director of the Bayview Histology Core
  • Associate Professor of Medicine

Centers & Institutes

  • Asthma and Allergy Center

Research Interests

Airway nerves; Acute and chronic airway inflammation; Airway remodeling and histopathology

Biography

Dr. Allen Myers is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Allergy and Clinical Immunology division. He studies airway nerves, acute and chronic airway inflammation, and airway remodeling and histopathology.

Dr. Myers holds a bachelor's degree from Towson University and a Ph.D. in pharmacology and experimental therapeutics from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He completed two fellowships at Johns Hopkins before joining the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1991. He is a member of the American Physiological Society, the International Society of Autonomic Neurosciences and the American Thoracic Society, and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the American Journal of Physiology, Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical, Respiration Physiology and Neurobiology, Brain Research, Pulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Frontiers in Respiratory PhysiologyArchives of Oral Biology, and the British Journal of Pharmacology.

Languages

  • English
Additional Resources +
  • Education +

    Education

    • Ph.D., University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, 1989
    • B.S., Towson University, Towson, MD, 1977

    Fellowships

    • The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 1990
    • The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 1991
  • Research & Publications +

    Research Summary

    In chronic allergy and asthma, the airways are remodeled with increased growth or number of infiltrating cells, smooth muscle, sensory nerves, and glands, all of these are potential sources of neurotrophic factors and all are in contact with parasympathetic nerves. Neurotrophic factors are growth factors that are usually associated with development of the peripheral nervous system but recently we demonstrated that adult airway neurons continue to express neurotrophin receptors and activation of these receptors can affect neuronal excitability and morphology. Our current research centers on the hypothesis that neurotrophic factors serve as important neuro-modulatory autacoids that can regulate the physiology and anatomy and, consequently, the function of adult parasympathetic neurons. For example, the neurotrophin, NGF, is increased in asthmatic airways and acutely affects synaptic transmission in airway parasympathetic ganglia: One effect is to increase the amplitude of the synaptic potential to action potential threshold, thus decreasing integration (filtering) by the neurons.   In our studies, we determine how NGF affects nicotinic receptor channels and electrophysiological properties of human and mouse ganglionic neurons in vitro.     Results from these studies will shed new light on the complex pathophysiology of airway diseases such as asthma and COPD and may ultimately determine new therapeutic treatments for these complex diseases.

    Selected Publications

    Balentova S, Conwell S, Myers AC. (2013) Neurotransmitters in parasympathetic ganglionic neurons and nerves in mouse lower airway smooth muscle. Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology (In Press).

    Lieu TM, Kollarik M, Myers AC, Undem BJ. (2011) Neurotrophin- and GDNF family ligand-receptor expression in vagal sensory nerve subtypes innervating the adult guinea pig respiratory tract. Am. J. Physiol. (Lung Cell. Mol. Physiol.) 300:L790-L798.
    View on Pubmed

    Pan, J, Rohde, HK, Undem, BJ, Myers, AC. (2010) Neurotransmitters in airway parasympathetic neurons altered by NT-3 and repeated allergen challenge. American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 43(4):452-457.
    View on Pubmed

    Weigand, LA, Myers, AC. (2010) Synaptic and membrane properties of parasympathetic ganglionic neurons innervating mouse trachea and bronchi. American Journal of Physiology (Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology) 298(4):L593-599.
    View on Pubmed 

    Kollarik M, Carr MJ, Ru F, Ring CJA, Hart VJ,  Murdock P, Myers AC , Muroi Y, Undem BJ. (2010) Transgene expression and effective gene silencing in vagal afferent neurons in vivo using recombinant adeno-associated virus vectors. J Physiol.  588:4303-4315.
    View on Pubmed

    Mazzone, S., Reynolds, S., Mori, M., Kollarik, M., Farmer, D. Myers, AC, Canning, B.J.  (2009) Selective expression of a sodium pump isozyme by cough receptors and its essential role in regulating cough. Journal of Neuroscience, 29(43):13662-13671.
    View on Pubmed

    Weigand LA, Myers AC, Meeker S, Undem BJ. (2009) Mast cell-cholinergic nerve interaction in mouse airways. J Physiol. 587:3355-3362.
    View on Pubmed

    Duarte, AG, Terminella, L, Smith, JT, Myers, AC, Campbell, G, Lick, S. (2008) Restoration of cough reflex in lung transplant recipients.  Chest 134:310-316.
    View on Pubmed

    Kajekar R, and Myers AC. (2008) Calcitonin gene-related peptide affects synaptic and membrane properties of bronchial parasympathetic neurons. Journal of Respiratory Neurophysiology 160:28-36.
    View on Pubmed

    Hazari MS, Pan J, Myers AC. (2007) Nerve growth factor acutely potentiates synaptic transmission in vitro and induces dendritic growth in vivo on adult neurons in airway parasympathetic ganglia. American Journal of Physiology (Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology) 292:L992-1001.  
    View on Pubmed

    Wu X, Myers AC, Goldstone AC, Togias A and Sanico AM. (2006) Localization of nerve growth factor and its receptors in the human nasal mucosa.  Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 118:428-433.
    View on Pubmed

    Myers AC, Goldie R, Hay DWP. (2005) A novel role for tachykinin neurokinin-3 receptors in regulation of human bronchial ganglia neurons. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 171(3):212-216.
    View on Pubmed

    Lab

    Allen C. Myers, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicine - senior laboratory investigator; Director, Bayview Histology Core
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    Department/Division

    • Medicine - Allergy and Clinical Immunology

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